Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sandra Bullock's big surprise

Apparently, some people in Hollywood do have the ability to keep a secret. As People Magazine revealed today, Sandra Bullock adopted a new-born baby from Louisiana about three months ago. Look how cute!!

Aaawwwww. She looks really happy!! I hope she can leave the pain of the last months behind and enjoy life as a newly single mother. She has parenting experience from being a mother to Jesse's three children and I am sure she will make a great mother for little Luis. I only feel sad for Jesse's children - even though Sandra said she wants to stay a part of their lives, their lives have still fundamentally changed.

Honesty and Guilt

The girlfriend and I had a bad Sunday, mostly filled with fights about homework, housework and going to bed at a decent time. I didn't quite understand what was going on and why she was procrastinating all day, but it drove me up a wall a little. Okay, quite a lot. I wanted her to do the dishes or at least clean the bathroom counter/sink, but she wouldn't do it. I offered help, tried asking nicely, got mad, but nothing made her budge.

After having a fight about it Monday morning and another one Tuesday morning, she finally told me that she had been having a really bad day with her issues, mainly the depression, but that she didn't want to tell me because she already puts so many of her issues on me. I told her that it was way easier for me to deal with her issues if I knew what was going on, because I honestly thought that she was fine. She told me that she is never fine, which I sometimes forget because she has her good days, or because she can keep her bad days secret from me well enough.

We had a talk about it and I understand why she doesn't always want to tell me about her feelings. She feels guilty because I take care of her and because she "puts so much on [my] plate", and then the guilt makes her feel even worse. It's a vicious cycle that I haven't figured out how to break yet. In her mind, I should be with someone "better", who can take care of me - which she does, she took care of me really well when I was sick last week - and who doesn't need the support that she needs. I tried to explain to her that if she had cancer, I wouldn't leave her either, just because that is hard to go through. She has an illness and it is hard every single day, I won't lie, but it's not her fault.

I make the conscious decision to be there for her and support her the best I can, even though I clearly fail some days. While I didn't know how bad some of her issues were when we started dating, I have since not changed my mind about her being the one for me. Yes, it is hard, but I love her and I want to be there for her so it can get easier. Not to sound full of myself, but I do think that without me, it would be even harder for her to get better. She thinks I "deserve" someone better, but I think she deserves better. The people in her life, the people who are supposed to love her unconditionally, have so far done very little for her and continuously keep hurting her by being irresponsible, mean, absent and all kinds of other things. And while she thinks I will eventually end up hating her because of her issues, it is truly the people who have caused her issues that I hate. I just wish I could erase her guilt and make her understand that I love her, no matter what issues her past bring up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A summer apart

On friday, both my girlfriend and I had somewhat of a meltdown. This summer, I'm going home to see my family and friends and I will be gone for exactly two months. Since the first months of our relationship were spent apart and since we are a bit co-dependent, we really don't look forward to spending two months separated.

Now don't get me wrong, I look forward to seeing my friends and family and I really can't wait to spend some time with my nephew. I'd just rather either have her by my side or not be apart for that long. Since my mom is going to be working for the first month I'll spend at home and since I plan on going to visit friends in the town I used to study in and other places, I will actually be quite busy. Especially since I'm also taking an online math class, which is 5 units, and therefore almost fulfils the 6 unit requirement of being a full-time student. So I will be more than busy. But, I know I will still miss my girlfriend terribly.

She will probably miss me even more, because she won't be as busy as I will and she will probably spend most of her summer living with the family she used to babysit for. She knows those people fairly well, but it's not really the same as staying with family, not that staying with family in her case would be that great. She will get to see her sister, with whom she is close, but she won't be going on 'vacation' the way I will. We both have already cried about spending our summer apart and on Friday we had a real meltdown about it. It sucks, because even though we do spend essentially all of our time together, most of it is spent with doing schoolwork, cleaning, cooking and other chores. We don't have a lot of quality time together, and when we do often we are working through issues and things like that. We both just rather spend the summer really enjoying each other's company, since we have not been able to really do that over a longer period of time since we started dating.

A fellow blogger, Maria, is going through something similar and is waaaay better at expressing the sentiments, so please go read her story here and here. See, the things is, as much as I love my family and parents, I would rather stay here with my girlfriend. Especially because I know that I will be going back to Austria for Christmas already again and that my girlfriend can't come with me, like we had originally planned. And even though I used to love being alone and having no responsiblities towards other people, now I don't want to give up the right to care for my love for two whole months. It just seems too long.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

United States of Tara

Today, episode 5 of the second season of United States of Tara aired on Showtime. I don't have Showtime, so I didn't see it, but I did watch episodes 3 and 4 today, since I am sick. I am so excited for that show to finally be back! I absolutely loved the first season, the writing is amazing, Toni Collette is amazing and the rest of the cast is pretty dang good too!

In case you have never seen the show, it basically revolves around Tara, a mother of two and artist, who has dissociative identity disorder. DID is the new term for split personalities, which Tara has 4 of in season one. There is Tara, the mother and 'main' personality; Alice, the 1950s housewife; T, the 16-year-old rebellious teenager and Buck, the guy (!!). Yes, one of her alters thinks he's a guy. Last year at the Emmy and the Golden Globe Awards, Toni Collette won Best Actress awards for her portrayal of Tara and her alters. She really deserved those awards, because she plays each of those alters so distinctively that even with just looking at her face you can see which alter is in control at a given point in time.

But it's not just Toni Collette who does an outstanding job, even though she certainly stands out. All of the main characters are played by great actors, I mostly adore Rosemarie DeWitt as Tara's sister Charmaine and Brie Larson as Tara's daughter Kate. I love how Charmaine is secretly jealous of Tara's disorder, because she always gets all the attention. Kate's outfits basically rock completely, even though I don't always like them, but they are just so unique and so Kate, I love it!

The writing is really good and it has a lot to do with Diablo Cody's creative talent. Obviously, 'Juno' was no one-hit wonder and her Best Screenplay Oscar well deserved. The storylines are all fascinating and as a whole the show seems very realistic. There are no plot points whose only purpose seems to be to create drama, because the alters and the family's life already is dramatic enough.

I just really love everything about this show and I can't wait to watch the next episode!

[I might start writing weekly recaps of USoT, but I don't want to give anything away in case my 5 readers aren't watching the show. So let me know whether you would like to read recaps or not. I'll put spoiler warnings up in any case, if I do decide to recap the show.]

Monday, April 19, 2010

'Parenthood' tackles syndromes and disobedient teenagers

[This is another review I wrote for the student newspaper. I'm not that happy about how it turned out, but oh well.]

Before NBC's "Parenthood" had even aired, the usual teasers and promos gave viewers a good idea of what to expect. In one of these teasers, daughter Amber, brilliantly played by Mae Whitman, says about her mother Sarah - right to her face, nonetheless - "Her bark is worse than her bite." Next thing we know, Sarah is lunging at her teen-aged daughter, and then dragging her off to Berkeley.

Lauren Graham, well known from her previous turn as a single mother on "Gilmore Girls," replaced Maura Tierney, who had to drop out due to health issues. Even though this involuntary casting change delayed the show's airdate from fall 2009 to spring, it seems to have worked out to the show's advantage. Having seen Tierney on "ER" as Nurse Abby and Graham as Lorelai Gilmore, Graham seems more suited for the likable role of mother of two who is forced to move back in with her parents.

At age 38, Sarah Braverman is divorced, unemployed and out of money, so she moves her family back home to Berkeley and, therefore, back into her family's daily lives. Being the oldest sister certainly doesn't help with her feelings of failure, but she does the best she can to provide a stable home for her two children, Amber and Drew. Viewers can easily relate to Sarah and her struggles, having to take care of two typical teenagers without any support from her drug addict ex-husband. Living with her parents makes her life even harder, as she has little space and uncovers her parents' problems without even trying to.

The most unique storyline features 8-year-old Max, son of oldest Braverman sibling Adam and wife Kristina. Adam was the perfect son, as he played sports and let his father turn him into "a tough guy." Max is very different, a sweet, but quiet and withdrawn child. Not only does he refuse to go to his baseball game - until his father bribes him with ice cream - he also frequently has problems at school. Even his classmates notice how different he is, and tease him, as kids do. Regular trips to the principal's office make his parents' lives hard, but his certainly harder. His reclusive behavior leads his parents to the conclusion that Max might suffer from Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Because this disorder is hard to diagnose and very rare, Adam tries to tell himself that his son is just different.

So far this storyline has been the most intriguing and has been handled surprisingly well thought-out by the creators of the show. Max Burkholder, who portrays his character with the same first name, does a fantastic job at playing this difficult part. At 12 years old, he doesn't look any older than his role, but he brings the experience and certainly the talent to show Max as the three-dimensional fictional person he is.

"Parenthood" started off strong, with a very well-made pilot, which is rare in TV. The show revolves around the Braverman clan and their lives, specifically the trials and tribulations of parenthood, both for the grandparents - Zeek and Camille - as well as the parents - Adam, Sarah, Julia and Crosby. The characters are relatable three-dimensional people who make watchers care, almost as if it were their own family. The show trumps with great acting and has many household names attached to it, such as Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under" and "Dirty Sexy Money"), Monica Potter ("Boston Legal"), Dax Shepard ("Baby Mama" and "Old Dogs") and Mae Whitman ("Hope Floats" and "Arrested Development"). Even though the show has its laugh-out-loud moments, it does offer a reflection of life in its seriousness. "Parenthood," early into its run, has found the perfect mixture between drama and comedy.

"Parenthood" airs on NBC, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. If you missed the first episodes, you still have time to catch up. Watch "Parenthood" online at or and become part of the Braverman family.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why you shouldn't mix work and romance

Or in this case, homework and romance. My girlfriend and I are taking two classes together, one of them history. We are supposed to work on a project, in which we have to write a paper and present it in class. We have known about that for about 2 months now and as you can probably guess, have not really done that much work yet. It partially has to do with the fact that my girlfriend keeps telling me that she has so much other stuff to do, for other classes. It drives me up a wall. I want to just sit down and do the project, and she keeps pushing it back and back. She doesn't want to do it by herself, which is an option, but she also doesn't want to do it in my time frame - and that time frame is pretty big!! I don't even know how often we have fought about this stupid project so far, but definitely too many times.

This is a perfect example of one big difference between her and me: she likes to do everything last minutes, as she needs the pressure to get motivated. I prefer doing projects earlier rather than later, because in my opinion, it is the one thing in school I have complete and total control over. I would not accept anything other than an A from myself when it comes to projects, because you get to choose the topic (most of the time), have enough time to prepare it and there is relatively little stress involved. With a test, you never exactly know what the questions will be or sometimes you have a blackout (happened to me yesterday, but I was able to get my brain to work again, thankfully). With a project, you're in control. So if you don't get a good grade, you probably didn't put enough work in. Which is ok, if you don't care.

So anyways, I will write what I want to write about this weekend and then we'll see if we will do our projects separately or together. I just want this whole thing to be over with. We really have enough other problems...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dancing with the Stars fever

I started watching Dancing with the Stars this season, for two reasons. One, it's hard to watch the show when you aren't in America and have to rely on bad-quality Youtube uploads. And two, I absolutely adore Shannen Doherty and really miss her being on my screen. I was also curious to see how Kate Gosselin, who I admire for her strength, and Pamela Anderson would do.

As you can imagine, I was really disappointed to see Shannen Doherty get eliminated so early. I thought that she did a great job at both dances and I really liked how her cute, awesome personality shone through. And those cheeks! I love those cheeks!

Pamela Anderson really impressed me, because she works hard and does well. I thought the white dress she wore in week 3 was very beautiful and I think she might actually get fairly far if she keeps her performances up.

What I don't quite understand is all the Kate Haters that are out there. I get if you don't care about reality shows and don't think it's that special to have 8 kids, but that doesn't mean you hate her. To me, she is making 200,000 dollars in at the most probably two months, depending on when she gets eliminated. If you even that out over a year's worth of income, she would have to earn a little under 20,000 dollars A MONTH to earn that kind of money. As a nurse, that might be what she earns in A YEAR, but certainly not a month. So if I were in her shoes and I knew that this job would mean that my children would be taken care of financially for at least a year, I would accept not seeing them for 4 days a week too. She gets to see them all week long when she's not working, and if she were a nurse she'd be away from them for 8 or 9 hours a day as well. Calling her a bad mother because she took a job that paid extremely well means that you just don't understand the fact that she cannot work a normal job. First of all, she is too famous by now. And second of all, she's a single mother with 8 kids - do you really think a nurse's salary would pay to feed all of them? I was really hoping she would get better and improve, because she really has it hard. She's not a performer or athlete, so she really has a no advantage whatsoever compared to the other stars on the show. Given that, I think she is doing well and I really liked the fact that this week, she finally looked like she knew the choreography and like she was actually dancing. So I'm rooting for her!

Therapeutic Blogging

I want to get back into the habit of blogging for a certain reason. Even though I'm so busy with life, I need an outlet and since I already have this blog, I will use it. I haven't quite figured out exactly how much of my daily life and struggles I want to tell, because I don't want to dishonor (I looked for the right word, but really, could not find it. aarrrggg) on my girlfriend's privacy. But I guess we'll figure it out as we go along.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Being in a funk

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the following tweets on your feed:
I gained so much f*cking weight in the last two months, none of my skirts fit anymore. Not a single one! Aaaagghh... I will stop eating now
Thinking about @UhHuhHerMusic 's Leisha Hailey' and Alice's obvious superiority makes me sad. Only thing I've going for myself in comparison?
My boobs are nicer. I'm 16 years younger, so obviously that will change too, probs sooner than 16 years. Very depressing thoughts... If I
didn't look up to Alice so much, might not be quite as bad. And yes, I know she's a fictional character, but Leisha still f*cking rocks!
A couple of things happened today that made my self-esteem sink to a new low. First of all, the weight issue. I've blogged about weight before, because it is something that is often in the back of my mind. Today, I took out my summer skirts and tried them all on. None of them fit. Not a single one. I knew that I had gained weight because my pants were fairly tight, but I hadn't realized that it was so bad. One skirt I was particularly upset about because I only just bought it last summer and hadn't worn it very often. Yes, when I bought it it was tight, but I figured it would be a good motivation to stay at my weight at that time, because I really love that skirt. Guess eating my stress doesn't exactly help with that, does it?

There is so much going on in my life right now and my life pretty much revolves around my girlfriend and school. I haven't made any real friends here yet and I'm having a hard time staying in touch with my friends in Austria. I don't want to/can't tell them about all the bad stuff that is going on here, because I don't want them to think I'm unhappy about my decision to move here - I am really not. I also don't want them to think I'm unhappy in my relationship or that they get a wrong picture of my girlfriend.

The thing is, she is depressed, has anxiety issues and very likely posttraumatic stress disorder. She is starting to heal, but it is a long process and we are just at the beginning of it. We both know that everything that is going on with her is taking a toll on me and it makes her feel even worse. I love her and don't want to be without her and I want to help her get better, but there is only so much I can do. And I'm not going to lie and say everything is great, because it is hard. Really, really hard. Will I give up on our relationship because it is hard? No. Does that make it any easier? Again, no.

With all of that going on, and the fact that I gained all that weight I was already not feeling great tonight. Then, I was finally wearing something I liked and I thought I looked hot, so I asked my girlfriend to take a few pictures. She's a pretty good photographer and knows how to handle a camera, but she's no miracle worker. The pictures didn't turn out great, because I can't pose or make my face look less stupid, so that just added on to my general mood and now I'm just in a real funk.